Posted 21 июня 2023,, 18:33

Published 21 июня 2023,, 18:33

Modified 22 июня 2023,, 06:19

Updated 22 июня 2023,, 06:19

The Tretyakov Gallery continues to fight for the fate of the icon «Trinity» by Andrey Rublev

The Tretyakov Gallery continues to fight for the fate of the icon «Trinity» by Andrey Rublev

21 июня 2023, 18:33
The struggle for the «Trinity» has moved from an open phase to a more familiar and understandable format for the Russian bureaucracy «under the carpet». Each new step of the clerical authorities and the bureaucratic machine becomes a new humiliation for those who have devoted their lives to preserving the national heritage.

Yekaterina Maksimova, Yelena Petrova, Natalia Seibil

If someone thought that the special operation «Trinity» had come to its inevitably sad end, he was mistaken. Events around the most famous icon of Russia continue to develop, however, while everything is happening quietly, almost in a whisper — away from the eyes and ears of the uninitiated. However, this does not mean that the drama has turned into a comedy. On the contrary, it is increasingly acquiring the features of a catastrophe for Russian culture.


The Tretyakov Gallery was quietly, family-like, broken over the knee and forced to sign an agreement on the transfer of the Rublevsky masterpiece to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The new director Elena Pronicheva signed the transfer for two weeks on June 3. Whether she understood that it was cutting off a cat's tail piece by piece, no one knows. In the Tretyakov Gallery itself, they immediately began to prepare for the reception of the «patient», bearing in mind the damage that was inflicted on the monument of ancient Russian painting during last year's «walk» in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. But it wasn't there. Two days before the end of the contract with the ROC, «Trinity became a „non-returnee“, moreover, at the will of the Ministry of Culture.

Not even the Minister of Culture Lyubimova, but her deputy Sergei Obryvalin, a man incredibly far from culture, who led something in Aeroflot, sends a letter to the DSP on June 15. The Tretyakov Gallery, in which he orders to transfer the «Trinity» to the Grabar Center. Art historian, art historian, art critic Mikhail Zolotonosov says that such a style of culture management in the country is the norm of life:

— The man came from business, from Aeroflot — he has nothing to do with art, with art criticism at all. And this, by the way, has long been the norm there in the Ministry of Culture. Well, take, for example, who is the director of a Public Library? A journalist who doesn't understand what he has to do as a library director. Who is the director of the Russian Museum now? A journalist. She also doesn't know what the museum director is doing, she just doesn't understand it. Both have no specialized education, no academic degree, or any scientific papers. They might as well have been in charge of a bathhouse, a reception point for dishes, a housing office, anything.

The piquancy of the situation is also in the fact that June 15 is Friday, and on Monday, on the 18th, all papers must be transferred to the Grabar Center. And it was carried out without any hesitation — contrary to the decision of the restoration council, which includes all the museums of the country and the best of the best specialists of the country.

Restorers urgently gathered for another council. The art critic Zolotonosov participated in this action, which he called a «kneeling uprising», as an observer.

The chief curator of the GTG, Tatiana Gorodkova, told the audience that the Ministry of Culture orders to transfer the «Trinity» for a year for restoration to the Grabar Center, and then transfer the icon to the ROC for 49 years, that is, forever.

Why is the transmission of the «Trinity» her way to Golgotha

Sources of «NI» in the Tretyakov Gallery, who have not yet decided to openly oppose the ministry, say that the «restoration» of the Trinity in Grabar is a fig leaf that officials use to cover themselves in order to please the Church. The 600-year-old monument does not need restoration, the icon needs peace.

«What really needs to be done with the icon is this: bring it back to the GTG, put it in ideal conditions for it, watch it for a while, understand how it behaves, what is the scale of destruction, what is the dynamics. Then develop methods to slow down these destructions somehow. And never do that to her again! Then she will survive. The Trinity has been in the Tretyakov Gallery for a hundred years, and for another 200-300 years it will be approximately in the state in which it is now, " says an employee of the Tretyakov Gallery, who wished to remain anonymous.

But everything in this story is strange. For 100 years, the whole institution has devoted itself to the preservation of the icon. There are restorers in Grabar, but NO ONE knows the «Trinity» as well as in Tretyakov Gallery. There are even no conditions in the Grabar where to store it. The only place where it can survive is the GTG storerooms with constant temperature and humidity.

— The ROC wants to prove that they are the owners of the shop, that they can achieve what they want. That's all, actually. Everything is very simple here. They don't need it, — the art critic Zolotonosov explains so simply and bluntly.

Mikhail Zolotonosov has a good offer for his colleagues:

— Perhaps Deputy Minister Obryvalin believes that his main boss is Gundyaev, the Patriarch. Well, then he needs to leave the Ministry of Culture and serve in the ROC. Because if his religious considerations force him to do this, in violation of his official duties in the Ministry of Culture, then he has a conflict of interests. And the conflict of interests is the sphere of the Prosecutor's Office or the Investigative Committee.

The people are silent

A natural question arises: if everything is so bad, and not only honor and professionalism are under threat, but something more important — the history of the country for which they are responsible — why are the employees of the Tretyakov Gallery silent?

They say this: «We were silent because there was a hope to solve this problem through official negotiations. This was our joint decision, since we believed that in a situation of negotiations, publications in The media can be damaged, as they will be perceived as pressure and blackmail. Now that all administrative resources have been exhausted, we have not achieved any changes in the official way, it became clear that it no longer matters.»

The staff insist on the return of the «Trinity» to the Tretyakov Gallery. The icon is on the inventory of the GTG, and they are still responsible for it.

«The damage of a particularly valuable object of cultural heritage. And as the threat of such damage, so the damage has already happened. There is a corresponding article in The Criminal Code. The Trinity is a particularly valuable object of cultural heritage, protected by the law on the protection of cultural values. No one has canceled this law yet, " they say in the gallery.

There was a lot of bad things in the history of preserving the national heritage when Minister Avdeev ordered to give the icon of Our Lady of Toropetskaya first to the same Grabar Center, and from there to the Istra district of the Moscow region, according to Mikhail Zolotonosov, «to the private, so to speak, family possessions of some Shmakov. He has a church there, and he placed it in this church of his. Well, it's clear why — then in a circle of people like him, to say: „Well, I wanted to, so I'm from The Russian Museum tore out this icon, the XIV century.“ That is, even older than Trinity.»

But there was also a good thing when the museum workers, not being afraid of the powerful of this world, came out with a united front and beat off the icon of the «Golden Hair Angel», which is older than the «Trinity» by another 200 years, from the attempt of the then Minister Medinsky to also satisfy the church and left it in The Russian Museum. There was a loud scandal with statements to the Prosecutor General's Office, and the minister backed down.

If the employees of the Tretyakov Gallery are afraid or prefer to solve the issue in a cell, then with 100% certainty we can already say that the icon has disappeared. Already today, rumors are circulating in the gallery that tomorrow everyone will be forced to sign a non—disclosure agreement — everyone who is just thinking of speaking, first wants to shut their mouths.